Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Doings

Poppy supervising the holiday baking in the kitchen.

Curly dominating the front door and protecting the buckwheat hulls. And leaving tiny little brown tic tacs all over my rug, ugh!

Getting a quilt order done for the holidays.

My Farm Pats

I think this cartoon sums me up on my farm. I always pat my animals, any animals and feel great. My husband always points this out, that I pat the animals. I do not hug and pet them, just pat them and make sure they are taken care of. Anything more will result in a messy cleanup, fur and feathers everywhere,broken heart and mourning for their loss when they go. Some get sick, some get eaten and some just grow old. A pat is best for them and for me. I wish I could pat people, but they do not like that very much and prefer hugs and kisses. Resulting in fur everywhere, broken heart when they die and mourning their loss. At least on my farm, a pat is best.

Cranberry Compote for Christmas

 A good friend of mine makes this every time we are over her place for dinner. It is so tasty and a good side to any meal. Here is the recipe: Cranberry Compote
1 cup of sugar (or honey) I used half since sugar is not the best thing for you, 1 bag of cranberries half thawed if frozen, 2 large sweet naval oranges or 4 tangerines, 1 cup chopped pecans, all the orange skins without the pith (white stuff).

First you wash the cranberries. I soak in water with 2 sprays of white vinegar, rinse in water to kill off any bad things on the skins and dirt. Rinse, remove water and wash your oranges too!

Now I chop my cranberries in the food processor until chunky. Put in a bowl, then chop the pecans chunky, add to bowl. You will be hand  mixing all the chopped stuff.

Next, I remove the orange skins from the pulp, chop well in the processor or by hand, your choice.

Now here is the trick to make this so fresh tasty and not bitter. Remove the pith (white stuff ) from the orange skins with a very short sharp knife. Cut along the pith, away from you and just the skin remains. The pith makes the food taste bitter over time. So I carefully cut this away from the skins. Put the skins in the processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add to bowl along with your sugar or sweetener of choice. Hand mix the mess. Cover bowl and set in fridge at least 1 hour before serving or overnight is best. 

Looks like a mess, but is oh so tasty. We eat along with lunch and breakfast. Note: you can add a few drops of lime juice for a zing if you like. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Starving Mailmen

Ok, here is my soapbox speech for today. About 3 months ago our church was visited by a very emotional mission priest telling us about the starving poor in Guatemala. I know this is true, I have mission friends who go there many times.He told us of how the Food For the Poor, Inc can take our money and with just 6 cents a day save 1 starving child. They even mailed me an American nickle and a Canadian penny in case I needed a visual aid. Every week my mailbox is stuffed with mail asking for more donations for the Poor of the World. Well, I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of this organization. The cost of mailers, flyers, coins, and the like could feed a family, many families, here locally in the state of Missouri. And we do not need paper mailers to remind us. We just have to open our eyes, open our hearts, roll up our sleeves and get to work. And I do not need a mailer to tell me that every week.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Death and Chokes

This is part of my harvest of Sunchokes. There are so many, I have left them out under the dirt for later winter treat.

My Melon taking a cat nap.

Last week a friend of mine died in a head on crash.  In the other car two people inside also died with her. Everyone died and I got that horrible call from my friends adult daughter, the police are here and my mother is dead, please come. We did and helped make plans. We went to the salvage yard to retrieve her mothers personal items saw what was left of her car, called the church and funeral home and got her mother buried. Now we are there as my friends daughter goes through the grief. It takes its toll but I did find out many people here are helping. We have a great small town and everyone is helping. So different from the city life I left behind. The last photo is the night after the wake. We were invited to a hayride under the stars in the cold in the woods. We sang songs and had a huge bonfire and tasty vegetarian foods made by several guest. It was a nice break from the grief. If you ever get an invitation to a hayride, go. It is a lot of fun.

Upside Downs

This is my bantam rooster with his neck turned upside down. I had the vet look at him and the neck is fine. But a friend noticed his ear was filled and smelly. I cleaned it out, treated it for mites and waited. After 4 week of daily cleaning, he is no better. The ear still fills with puss, I clean it with peroxide and wait. He has been in our house for almost a month. This week he is eating less and has taken a down turn. I will give it another week then cull him myself. It is a shame since he is a great little rooster.

Duck dinner

Here is one of two male ducks I raised Cayuga and Khaki Campbell mix. I have way too many drakes this year and happily gave away two. They dressed out nicely and I am waiting to hear about their flavor from my friends. I was also given five roosters which three I culled and two I watched. I finally saved one of the five for my flock. The rest are in my freezer. This November I brought two egg eater hens to auction and three more Easter Egger roosters. Just can't see feeding them all winter and have them fighting. Since my freezer was full, to the auction they go. I am learning it is wise to sell off  or cull the flock before winter. Saves money on feed all winter and new start in the spring. But I have bred some great poultry and hate for that to go to waste. So I save the best overwinter and hope for spring chicks to hatch in the new year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A chicken a day

No, this is not a chicken. But I had to title something for my blog. Yes, my dogs get an armadillo a day sometimes. But this week it has been a chicken a day dying. First was a bantam hen, another hen stomped her and she never recovered and died on Sunday. On Monday my blind rooster did not return to the coop at night. Next day my shepherds brought his corpse to the back door. They are trained to not kill poultry. Owl attacked the rooster, head was missing. Last night my husband put up the chickens and this morning a red hen was dead by the back door. Could not find cause of death for this hen, no sign of missing feathers. And this morning there is a large predatory mountain lion nearby. So my farm is on high alert and on edge.I could use a break on all the chicken deaths. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hay Ho We Go

After all the rains we have had, we finally got our first cutting of hay for this winter. We usually get these in June/July. The wet conditions prevented the farmers from baling until very dry. Then there was a backlog. We are testing string bales versus net baled. We were loading and unloading bales until 9pm Monday night. We did not have dinner until 10 pm. But it was worth it, the horses are set for the winter. Now we turn to chopping dead trees for firewood.

No Deere! Oh Deere!

I think everyone should read about what John Deere the company is doing. This is not just about tractors: Here is the link:

John Deere is making it illegal to work on your own tractor, and I hope it hurts their sales. If this farmer had changed his belt sensor on his own tractor, he could have been put in prison for five years or fined a half million dollars under the DMCA law.
If you think you have nothing to worry about because you aren't a farmer, consider that this same scheme is being used by a number of manufacturers. When you buy a car, do you ask the salesman if you are allowed to do work on it, and do you believe his answer? Who really owns that car or tractor after you buy it?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Exploding Kittens: the Game

Yes, it finally arrived , Exploding Kittens the card game. 

Melon waits for Alan to read the instructions. The card box meows after you open the box.

The clear wrapping is more cat fun.

Pretty box graphics.

Dealing out the cards.

Such a tiny litter box. Fun game with 2 or more players. Silly rules and fun graphics. There is the PG version and the Not for Office version. You can find it here.

Sherlock Stock and Barrel

We do not have TV nor cable service in our home. Just could not justify the $80 + a month expense for nothing worth watching. But I did find this series called Elementary and got it via Netflix. Wow, very entertaining and fun. The modern spin about Homes addiction and a female Watson are new and fresh. Just the wardrobe of Watson is fun to see. So worth sitting a spell and watching a spot on the telly.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Violent June Month

This is my mare, Luna after she got caught in some lose barbed wire fence. Some poachers had crossed our property and had pulled down the wire and it got loose and left it down. Luna got torn open. 

These were deep but not life threatening. We called our vet and she came 2 hours later to stitch up my mare. I kept the wounds cleaned and wet to keep the flesh viable. My vet put in 21 stitches and by the end of July the wounds are healed and only 1 small piece of proud flesh remains.

After the $500 vet call, my husband went out into the woods to fix the fence. He got poison ivy from head to toe and had to go to the doctor for medication. He had a reaction to that and is now doing fine and keeping out of the woods until the fall.

And then there was only one

 Last month I put my pet rabbits outside in their exercise yard. But we came home to find one of our dogs in their yard and the bunnies wet and alive and unharmed. My dog had jumped over and through the wire yard. I think the thunderstorm made my shepherd want to herd the rabbits back to the house.We brought the rabbits inside to dry off and cool off. Then Larry suddenly died and the other two were going stiff. So I grabbed a heating pad and separated them. But an hour later Moe squeaked and had a heart attack. Curly was still doing ok. It was night time and a Vet was not an option. They died of shock and I did not recognize it. Rabbits being prey animals go into shock when stressed or chased. This will kill them as their bodies shut down. The heating pad and small carrier saved Curly's life. He calmed down and warmed up slowly. Curly made it after a tentative week. He is eating and looking for his litter mates. My dogs and  rabbits have always known and been around each other. This could have been avoided if I had put the rabbits back inside the house before leaving. This was a hard lesson to learn.

Good bye Larry

Good Bye Moe

Alone now Curly

Tub Ducking

With all that has been going on this wet spring and wet summer; these two ducklings hatched and were neglected by their over broody mom. So they came inside the house for two months. Every morning they got to swim in our tub so I could clean their cage.

Rowen and a Cayuga ducklings

They are outside running with the flock now. They are still wary of me since I was not their imprinted mama duck. But for a bit I was their foster mom and they got a good start.

Sewing Machine Feet

This is a great link to learn about sewing machine feet and how to use them.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sunday Exploration

So after a full day at church, grocery shopping, how to end the day? Why exploring the river ways in your Sunday best. We went to find the Blue hole and found the Jacks Fork river and wonderful scenic vistas. The road there is gravel and rock and requires 4 wheel drive and is full of wildlife. Then you find a gravel bar and park and wow, so pretty.

Looking for the river and the swimming hole

Wonderful caves to explore

Clear cold water

A spring

What a view

Going to be fun this summer

Pink milkweed loaded with butterflies on the back road. It was a great way to end the day. Wish I had brought my swimsuit.

Goodbye and Hello in St. Louis

We said goodbye to our friends as they get ready to go back to Tanzania for 3 more years. It was a nice visit and we learned a lot about missionary work in Africa. We were given a ton of donated items from our church for their return trip. Seeds, medical supplies,books, shoes and more are packed and ready for the long journey home. We said goodbye in St.Louis and then headed out to explore.

We went to the City Museum in St. Louis. It is a boring name for a far our fun place.You can crawl, swing, climb and touch the stuff at this place. It is for all ages. This is just the floor.

Bank vault

Carved stonework of St. George that you can touch. Great for blind people.

You can touch this too.

The stained glass is wonderful.

There are robots and neon.

This is for climbing. There are cages, ladders, stairs,caves and slides everywhere.

You can touch the sculptures!

Another wonderful floor.

The rooftop ferris wheel.

Sculptures everywhere.

More slides

More stuff you can touch

The ultimate jungle gym for all ages.

Donated iron and stone waiting to be used, always building.

Yes, you can go in this bus, I did.

And there are more bugs. Just a fun place to go. Here is the link:City Museum